Walden Parent Resource and Education Program (P.R.E.P.)

When families apply to be a Resource Family with Walden, they will begin a professional development and training experience that is both comprehensive and life-enhancing. Walden’s P.R.E.P. classes utilize the competency-based curriculum developed by Pressley Ridge. The 10-unit training takes 30 hours, and is typically offered in the evening and on weekends.

Session 1: Introduction to Walden and Treatment Foster Care

This session reviews Walden’s vision and services, covers goals and expectations, background on treatment foster care, and the roles and responsibilities of parents as part of a child’s therapeutic team. You’ll also learn about paperwork requirements and legal obligations, what type of support you should expect, and how to maintain safety, provide supervision, and advocate for the child your care.

Session 2: Understanding Childhood Development and the Impact of Trauma

Enhance your understanding of typical child and adolescent development, common and traumatic influences, the impact of trauma and stress, child safety and supervision, and grief and loss in the care system.

Session 3: Developing Healthy Relationships

Discuss how to go about forming a positive relationship with your foster child, how separation and loss affect relationships, and how to facilitate healthy attachment, reinforce positive behavior and deliver social rewards.

Session 4: Therapeutic Communication

Develop your understanding of therapeutic communication, non-verbal communication, and active listening, and practice how to communicate in a way that helps children manage their feelings, behavior and solve problems.

Session 5: Understanding Behavior

How do children learn to behave? Find out how to measure, observe and describe behavior, and how to connect past trauma to current behavior. Explore the difference between natural and imposed consequences, punishment and discipline, and how to use “I-Feel” messages.

Session 6: Changing Behavior

Explore parenting strategies and skills to promote positive behavior change. Discussions examine selecting behaviors for change, behavior motivation systems and behavior contracts, supportive interventions, and the effective use of rewards.

Session 7: Skill Teaching

Learn about executive skills, motivational problems versus skill deficits, and criteria for selecting behavior to skill teach. Find out how to teach positive behavior and focus on children’s strengths when children do not behave appropriately.

Session 8: Understanding and Managing the Conflict-Crisis Cycle

Consider what kinds of conflicts you might experience as a foster or adoptive parent, and build your skills to respond to manage crises in ways that are healthy and constructive.

Session 9: Teamwork, Advocacy and Protection

Examine treatment parent support systems, your role in the treatment and how to partner with birth families. Also learn about child advocacy, discipline practices and how to report and respond to child abuse.

Session 10: Walden Procedures, Medication Management and What Happens Next

Learn about Team Decision Meetings, and Family Team Meetings, the Transitions framework, and Walden intake, placement and medication policies and process. Hear from current parents as they share the challenges and rewards of caring for foster children and youth.

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